The hidden secrets behind the life of a Salesforce Developer

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Fallon Everitt

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There are a lot of misconceptions about the work of a software developer and we’re pretty sure that you’ll have heard at least one of them. Have you ever assumed that you have to be a mathematical genius to write code? Or that your typical day as a developer would mean rarely speaking to your co-workers?

Just like any profession, of course we cannot make sweeping generalisations about the individuals who practice this work. But some of these ‘myths’ are pretty far from the truth! To demonstrate our point a little further, we decided to catch up with two members of 4C’s London Development Team, Genalyn and Tiago, to find out more about their day-to day-roles, career paths and hopefully de-bunk a few developer myths!

Gen 4C DevGenalyn Estrada, Graduate Developer
Time with 4C: 7 months
Tiago 4C DevTiago Lopes, Senior Developer
Time with 4C: 1 year, 1 month

What is your day-to-day role?
Genalyn: A big part of the role is writing code but there is also a lot of coordination with the wider team and customers so no two days are the same. I will be assigned requirements by a Project Manager (PM) and work through them, liaising with the PM to confirm details. I will also work closely with senior developers to get their advice or recommendations. Sometimes you have to speak with the client for testing, sometimes they have a technical background but if not, you have to avoid using technical jargon so that they understand. I’ll have catch up meetings with the Project Managers, so I can let them know if there are any blockers or concerns.

Tiago: Speaking to Dev colleagues, PMs, Sales, and Consultants. Depending on the size of the project, I might work on 1 or 2 client projects some months whereas other months it can be up to 10. Since the acquisition by 4C (previously CloudSocius) we have been working with bigger, enterprise clients, the likes of BMW and Finastra, which is very exciting.

How did you decide to get into Salesforce Development?
G: This actually happened sort of by ‘accident’! I had also applied for other Graduate Developer roles, not exclusive to Salesforce Development, but during the interview process with 4C, everyone was so friendly and accommodating and I really got a feel for the office environment, which made me want to join. Waiting in reception for my interview, everyone who walked passed stopped to say hello and to make sure I had been seen to. And then after meeting Sam, Head of Development, and the rest of the team, I knew that it would be a good fit.

T: While I was still studying, I was reading about the most innovative tech companies, with the biggest growth potential over the next 10 year and Salesforce came out on top. I started in France at a software house, then after 2 years thought about moving to London. It was a combination of the thrill of living in London but I also wanted to get exposure to more projects.

What are your co-workers like?
G: We are all very close, it’s still a relatively small team and we all know what’s happening in each other lives. Everyone is partial to a good joke or two and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. One of the company benefits is a Perk Box account which includes a free Nero coffee every month and we always go out as a team together to get our free coffee. We don’t say no to the occasional box of doughnuts either!

T: It’s a very fun, open-minded group of people. There is a strong team spirit of helping each other and never leaving anyone on their own. You definitely need to have a good sense of humour!

Reflect back from day one to now. How have you evolved in your current role?
G: I have learnt so much in such a small time frame. It’s partly because I am surrounded by very talented people. I would compare Sam, our Head of Development to a lecturer from University. I feel lucky to be able to learn from him directly and get his opinions on concepts and problem solving. It’s definitely rubbed off on me!

T: I joined as a mid-level developer, and have learned and upskilled a lot this past year. I have picked up lots of knowledge, the perks of working in a consultancy, you get to work across so many different verticals, from fashion to finance, to airlines.

What advice would you give to someone who is seeking the same line of work?
G: The company makes a difference and the people make the difference. Who you work with can dictate how well you do the job.

T: Pick up as much you can from everyone around you, take all opportunities to learn. It’s definitely worth it.

Where do you hope to go with this job, or in your career in general?
G: To become a better developer, to learn as much from the other developers as I can. Everyone has their own style. I am hoping to become a Junior Developer by next year.

T: CEO! ha ha. I’d like to eventually move into management and be involved in mentoring other team members.

What do your friends and family think you do?
G: My family know I’m a software developer but I often get asked “Do you hack things?”. I mentioned to them that Aston Martin is a customer and they asked if I could get them a car!

T: They think I install anti-virus, mainly. They have got some learning to do!

What is your proudest accomplishment at the job?
G: When I passed probation, and heard the feedback from the whole team. As the first person to go through the graduate development programme, having no prior Salesforce experience, it was great a milestone for me.

T: Developing a loan book system to be used all across the third sector (non-profits). Our goal was to replace all those messy and complex spreadsheets with custom automated processes in Salesforce and I think we’ve done a very good job with something not many people have dared to do before.

Tell us a fun fact that not many people know about you
G: I’m really interested in the history of computing, I did my dissertation on technology during the cold war.

T: I can speak 4 languages fluently - Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.

What is the most common myth that you come up against?
G: That you have to love math to be a developer. I really dislike math! Everyone is always surprised when I say I don’t like numbers. I loved computers at school but I really hated math. To overcome this, I had to put in a lot of hard work. I still haven’t memorised the times tables though!

T: That we have to know how to fix computers. We don’t.

If like Genalyn and Tiago you’re interested in making the leap to becoming a 4C Salesforce Developer we would love to hear from you. You can also check out all our open positions here.

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